Our culture is in a state of change. As our expectations and role-definitions for both sexes are changing, men are finding that they have more choices. More than ever before, they have a wider list of acceptable traits for what it means to be “a man.” The contemporary job description of boyfriend, mate and father is significantly different than from the previous generation. The Marlboro Man of the past millennium can now be a metrosexual who wears hair product and gets manicures. The “strong, silent type” has lost his allure as husband material. He has added sensitive and caring to the required traits.
Men have an increased awareness of their inner emotional life and a much greater interest in their own personal fulfilment than ever before. Recently, even the highly testosterone-driven world of professional sports has launched awareness campaigns about personal relationships and domestic violence.
While men and women have similar rates of mental illness, men tend to seek help much less frequently than women. In their book A Counselor’s Guide to Working with Men, Matt Englar-Carlson, Marcheta Evans and Thelma Duffey suggest that traditional ideas of masculinity conflict with men being able to admit they feel sad or stressed or seek counseling. Fortunately, in our culture the stigma of men seeking help has lessened significantly. Men are becoming more aware of their feelings and being given much more permission to express sadness and hurt. In general, we have a much better understanding that both men and women have feelings that sometimes require professional support and men are increasingly finding the courage to seek help.
At GroundWork Counseling, we provide individual counseling for men. We understand that the experience of growing up male presents unique stressors upon men. In addition to the challenges faced by both sexes, we help men specifically deal with issues relating to:
- Self-esteem and self-confidence, both at work and in personal relationships
- Understanding how cultural messages have shaped identity
- Reconciling the tension between being strong and vulnerable, dominant and power-sharing, self-reliant and being able to ask for help
- Becoming comfortable with the human need to connect, and being able to handle intimacy and depth in relationships
- Creating a new self who integrates all aspects of one’s identity into a coherent whole.
Our approach is to explore the issues that are causing distress, build on current strengths and teach new skills. You will develop a different perspective and add practical ways to handle existing problems. If you are feeling anxious or unfulfilled, worried or confused about the direction of your life or your relationships, please call us. We will customize a plan of action tailored for you and coach you in a supportive empowering environment. You will be able to move forward with increased clarity and confidence. The sooner you start, the sooner you will reach your goal.
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